The easiest homemade Vegan Challah bread recipe! Tastes just like traditional Challah bread, yet is completely egg free and dairy free!

vegan challah bread on cloth

Okay so you guys over on Instagram have been asking me this for a while. When can we see some more traditionally Jewish recipes on The Banana Diaries?!

Well, first I had to become more familiar with making some favorites of Jared’s before I felt confident enough to alter the recipes and make them vegan, gluten free, etc.

sliced challah bread

Right now, I could only create a vegan Challah bread, but I’m so happy with it. It literally tastes like a traditional Challah bread, yet it’s completely egg free and dairy free. Plus it’s also refined sugar free as a bonus, ha!

One of Jared’s favorite treats is Challah French toast (he normally doesn’t eat gluten for Lyme but treats himself occasionally!), but since both of us switched to more of a plant based eating life style, he hasn’t had it for over a year.

sliced vegan challah bread

So the first step to making vegan Challah French toast? Make vegan Challah bread of course! And now you know what recipe is coming up next too ha!

This easy Challah bread is actually laughably simple. I won’t say it’s not time consuming…because bread making is, but it’s not a scary and hard process, I promise.

Plus it’s the perfect recipe to bring to Passover or when you want Challah French toast or bread pudding, with a plant based twist!

Can you actually make vegan Challah bread?!

The answer is yes! Yes, you can make Challah bread vegan! Often times, it’s also referred to as water Challah bread because you use water in place of milk.

However, if you wanted a bit more flavor to this Challah bread, you can absolutely swap in your favorite dairy free milk, like this homemade 5 minute oat milk.

close up of vegan challah bread

I find it funny to call it water Challah bread though, because we’re also replacing the eggs (actually just omitting them), and creating our own egg-free glaze.

But the short answer is yes, vegan Challah bread is absolutely possible, and I’m going to show you how!

How to make Challah bread vegan

Before we begin with making the vegan Challah bread, let’s go over the ingredients first. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Warm water (between 110F and 115F- any hotter, and the yeast will die. Any cooler, and the yeast won’t activate)
  • Coconut sugar (if you don’t want to keep it refined sugar free, you can swap in regular sugar here!)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Coconut oil
  • Active dry yeast (not quick rise yeast)
  • Vegan glaze (a combination of maple syrup and dairy free milk)
vegan challah bread with ingredients

Pretty standard bread ingredients, right? I know it sounds crazy that just these ingredients can yield a completely egg free water Challah bread, but trust me, this works!

Making the dough

Now, let’s actually make the Challah. It’s quite simple actually, but you’ll need some patience too because bread is a labor of love!

First, begin by activating the yeast. You’ll need to heat the water to precisely 110F, though a few degrees above won’t hurt the yeast. Let the water with about half of the coconut sugar needed, along with 1 tablespoon of flour and yeast sit in a bowl for 5-10 minutes to activate.

bread starter with coconut oil and coconut sugar

You’ll know when the yeast is activated by its smell. It should also start to foam.

Next, add in the remaining coconut sugar and melted coconut oil, and mix everything together. Sift in the flour in 1/2 cup increments, and begin to knead the bread together until it’s a sticky dough, like below. You’ll then need to proof the bread.

This is done by covering the bread with a kitchen towel and placing it in a warm area (about 80F should do) to rise for an hour or until it’s doubled in size. Some ovens have a proofing setting on them, but I’ve found that if I set my oven to the lowest temperature and leave the oven door open, it creates a warm enough area.

Alternatively, if it’s at least 80F outside where you live, you can place the bread outside in a safe area!

Once the vegan Challah dough has doubled in size, punch down the bread and knead it on a clean lightly floured surface for 5 minutes.

Now for the fun part: we get to braid the bread! Take a bench scraper or sharp knife and divide the dough into three equal sections.

Roll each section into a long strand, about 15 inches long, but it doesn’t have to be price. Next, pinch the top of each strand together and begin to braid the dough as you would hair: crossing one strand over the other.

challah dough braided before it bakes

Do this until you reach the end, and then pinch together the ends. Now, you can either bake your vegan Challah bread as a long loaf or a round Challah bread. To make it round, simply curl the two ends towards each other and pinch them together.

Before you bake the Challah bread, preheat the oven to 350F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Place the Challah bread dough onto the baking sheet and cover with a clean dishtowel again, placing it near the preheating oven to rest again while the oven heats.

baked challah bread with ingredients

When the oven is read, simply place the baking sheet into the oven to let the bread bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown!

Making a vegan bread glaze

Now I bet you’re wondering how you can still get that beautiful glossy sheen on Challah bread without eggs. Fear not, because I have a solution for you!

Simply whisk together maple syrup and your favorite dairy free milk. Then lightly brush it onto the freshly baked vegan Challah bread.

Let it sit for a few minutes to set and you’re done!

sliced challah bread with maple syrup

Troubleshooting your homemade vegan bread

To make sure that your vegan Challah bread comes out perfectly each time, let’s go over a few tips!

  • If the yeast isn’t activated, scratch it and start over! There’s unfortunately no way to save yeast that was killed from too much heat, but if you catch it early on in the process (after the activating process), then it’ll save you a lot of work! If you don’t heat your water hot enough, the yeast will not activate. If you heat it too much, then the yeast will be killed. Aim for 110F. To tell if your yeast is properly activated, it will smell yeast-y (I wish I had a better descriptor, but I don’t ha!) and also begin to foam.
  • If your bread is too sticky, add more flour. Alternatively, if you have too much flour, add a bit of lukewarm water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) until you reach a dough that’s not sticky but all together.
  • My Challah is gummy! This happens if you don’t bake it long enough. To make sure it’s baked long enough, the crust will be tough to touch (I suggest poking it lightly with a kitchen towel as to not burn yourself).
  • If your Challah bread is crumbly, you let the bread rise too long. Aim for about an hour, but you can check on it after 30 minutes to see how far along in the doubling process it is.
  • Do not use any other flour other than all-purpose flour. I have not tested this recipe with whole wheat flour, which is a whole other beast!
sliced half of vegan challah bread

I hope you love this vegan Challah bead recipe as much as I do! If you give it a go, let me know down below in the comments section.

As always, I love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

Happy bread making!

slices of vegan Challah bread

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

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vegan challah bread on cloth

Vegan Challah Bread

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Bread

Description

The easiest homemade Vegan Challah bread recipe! Tastes just like traditional Challah bread, yet is completely egg free and dairy free!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup warm water (110F), plus more if needed
  • 6 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 44 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 packet active dry yeast

Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dairy free milk

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water and 3 tbsp of coconut sugar + 1 tbsp of flour.
  2. Add in the yeast, and let the yeast activate for 10 minutes. The mixture should start to foam and smell yeast-like. If it does neither, scratch the mixture and start again (if your water is too hot, it will kill the yeast). 
  3. Once the yeast is activated, add in the remaining 3 tbsp of coconut sugar and melted coconut oil. Whisk together until fully combined.
  4. Sift in the remaining cups of flour in 1/2 cup increments, starting first with 4 cups of flour to see if that’s enough. If not, add in the remaining 1/2 cup. Additionally, if your dough is not absorbing all of the flour, add in more warm water in 1 tablespoon increments. Begin to knead the dough until the flour is completely combined.
  5. Lightly flour a clean surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Once the dough is kneaded, lightly grease a clean bowl and place the dough inside. Cover the dough with a dish towel, and place in a warm room or an oven set to the “proof” setting. The warm area should be between 80-90F. You can also place outside in a safe spot if it’s hot enough.
  6. Let the dough double in size for 1 hour, but check on it after 30 minutes to see how far along in the process it is. Once it’s doubled, punch it down and lightly flour a clean surface again.
  7. Knead the dough again for 2-5 minutes, then use a bench scraper or knife to slice the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a long strands (about 12″-16″).
  8. Form one side of the ends together to create a braid. Wrap one piece over the other to create a braid shape, and seal off the ends of the braid together. You can leave it as a long loaf or wrap the loaf into a “c” shape to create a circle.
  9. Place the dough onto a baking sheet and cover to let rise again for 30 minutes, while the oven preheats to 350F.
  10. When the dough has risen again and the oven is preheated, place the loaf into the oven to bake for for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  11. Once the bread is baked, remove the Challah from the oven and set it aside while you make the glaze. M ix the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the top of the loaf with the glaze mixture.
  12. Let it set for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/15 of loaf
  • Calories: 178
  • Sugar: 5.7 g
  • Sodium: 5.3 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.3 g
  • Protein: 3.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan Challah bread, easy Challah bread, water Challah bread

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